The apocryphal biography of Fernand Contadin tells the invention of his artistic name Fernandel by his sister-in-law ("Voici le Fernand d'elles"). At the beginning of the thirties he became a typical actor of the comedy genre: popular, common, likable and with a concealed grain of drama. Marc Allégret was the director of his first successful film
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Fernandel was mentioned in the Camus novel "The Stranger" as the director of a movie the main character had gone to see after his mother's death. When this later came up in his trial, the courtroom was aghast that he'd gone to see such a film under those circumstances.
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